Wstęp (Jacek Wójcicki)
The series incorporates analyses of general history as seen from a singular, existential perspective in the literature of the personal document: that is, autobiography and diary. The writers discussed in the volume belong mostly to the nobility and display typical attitudes which, however, change at different points in history. Among these authors are: a Sarmatian knight and landlord from the turn of the seventeenth century, two Bar Confederates, Polish soldiers of the French army corps in Saint-Domingue, a Polish man in the Russian army at the beginning of the nineteenth century, a patriotic activist from the time of the November Uprising, and a post-November Uprising émigré in France and the United States. Some other authors of the analysed political poetry and journalistic texts include: a Piarist clergyman, an associate of the Kołłątaj’s Forge hailing from lesser nobility, and a burgher. The cross-sectional discussions explore sermons from the time of Duchy of Warsaw, as well as the philosophical sketch (a nineteenth-century literary genre), the positivist guidance on household management, as well as the poetry of the Martial Law period. Separate articles are devoted to Benedykt Chmielowski, and to Adam Mickiewicz as author of letters. The series also includes literary materials published on the basis of manuscripts and rare prints, such as the Crown Tribunal addresses delivered by Franciszek Salezy Jezierski, or an excerpt from the diary of Eliza Orzeszkowa’s grandfather.